LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Prosecutors charged a 12-year-old boy on Thursday with making a false emergency call that sent police swarming to the home of actor Ashton Kutcher in a “swatting” prank.
The name of the boy, who was arrested by Los Angeles police in December, was withheld due to his age. He was scheduled to be arraigned in a juvenile court in Los Angeles on Friday.
The trend toward placing false emergency calls is known as “swatting” because SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) officers often are sent to the purported crime scenes. Authorities say such situations can be dangerous due to the risk of a misunderstanding between police and occupants of a building.
The boy has been charged with two felony counts each of making false bomb threats and computer intrusion in connection with the October 3 emergency call that drew police to the Hollywood Hills home of Kutcher, star of the sitcom “Two and a Half Men,” and a similar call on October 10 that sent police to a Wells Fargo Bank.
Authorities have accused the boy of having reported men armed with guns and explosives in Kutcher’s home and that several people had been shot. Dozens of emergency personnel were sent to the house. Kutcher was not home at the time.
Swatting calls in recent months have also sent police to the homes of singers Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Bill Trott